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Old 11-15-2011, 11:18 PM   #1
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Default First BIAB in the fermentor. Mash temp questions.

Howdy,

I brewed a robust porter modified from Edwort's recipe. All went (relatively) smoothly except I had real issues maintaining mash temps.

Specifics:

13# grain bill in just over 7 gallons in a 9-gallon Bayou stainless pot over a Bayou burner. Hit strike temperature of 164 F. Added grain and ended up with a temperature of 158 (called for 156). I kept the digital thermometer in and put the pot on a wool blanket on the garage floor and wrapped it in a comforter. The ambient temperature was 60. The temperature dropped to 152 in about 10 minutes. Added 1/2 quart of hot water...nothing. Put it on low flame...shot up to 164 in no time. Repeat.

Interestingly, calculated efficiency was 73% and I hit OG on the head.

Any ideas? Bad thermometer?

Thanks

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Old 11-15-2011, 11:39 PM   #2
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After you added your heat with either method, did you stir it like crazy? You'll get very uneven temps through the mash if you don't and your readings will come out wonky

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Old 11-15-2011, 11:46 PM   #3
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What he said. If you did stir, try checking your thermometer. I put mine in boiling water, as that's only going to ever hit 212*F. If you didn't, still verify the thermo, and make sure it's well mixed next time. I think it was BobbyM who said he doesn't even bother checking the temp for about 5 minutes after he's adjusted and stirred, just to give the mash time to equilibrate. Kyle

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Old 11-16-2011, 01:22 AM   #4
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The best way to hit the target temp in BIAB is to add the grains to the pot about 10 degrees below the mash temp and keep heating and stirring (well) until the mash temp is hit.

Also a well insulated pot will only lose about 5 degrees over 60 min. Try tying the comforter to the pot using a bungee cord.

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Old 11-16-2011, 01:42 AM   #5
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All good ideas:

Stir "like crazy", check thermo, bungees.

'preciate ya.

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Old 11-16-2011, 01:43 AM   #6
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Thanks for all of these tips guys I was just about to ask a similar question. I do have one other question that is related to this topic I was hopeing to have answered as well. When raising the temp to mash out are you trying to get the wort up to 170 or the mashed grain up to 170?

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Old 11-16-2011, 03:25 AM   #7
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you are getting the whole mash up to 170 to make the liquid wort in the mash less viscous and easily rinse off the sugar from the grain.

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Old 11-16-2011, 05:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barleyhole View Post
you are getting the whole mash up to 170 to make the liquid wort in the mash less viscous and easily rinse off the sugar from the grain.
Thanks, I assume the best way to do this in a BIAB situation would be to turn on the head the stir like crazy to keep the mash and bag from scortching. Correct?
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I ferment my lagers in frozen mammoths 3 miles below the ice in Greenland. I scream at my hop plants for 8 hours a day to make them not only bitter, but pissed off.
Desert Basin Brewery
Future Brews:
Fermenting: Desert Basin Pale Ale, Ninkasi Tricerihops Clone
Bottled: Desert Knight RIS, Scottish Winter Warmer
Kegged: Cleaning out the closet Porter
Gallons Brewed 2013: 15
Gallons Brewed 2012: 90.0
Gallons Brewed 2011: 77.5
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
turn on the heat then stir like crazy to keep the mash and bag from scortching. Correct?
Yes

Took me a while to process what you meant

But you don't really have to stir like crazy...

If you have a large potato masher, or stirrer, they work great, and a gentle pumping motion is all you need.



A cake rack at the bottom of your pot will help too.

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Old 11-16-2011, 09:43 PM   #10
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Good idea Stucks. I have been trying to figure out what type of item i could put at the bottom of the Keggle to lift the grain back off the floor. That is perfect.

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Originally Posted by Airborneguy
I ferment my lagers in frozen mammoths 3 miles below the ice in Greenland. I scream at my hop plants for 8 hours a day to make them not only bitter, but pissed off.
Desert Basin Brewery
Future Brews:
Fermenting: Desert Basin Pale Ale, Ninkasi Tricerihops Clone
Bottled: Desert Knight RIS, Scottish Winter Warmer
Kegged: Cleaning out the closet Porter
Gallons Brewed 2013: 15
Gallons Brewed 2012: 90.0
Gallons Brewed 2011: 77.5
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